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Can universities revoke the degrees of graduates bringing them into disrepute?

The likely answer seems to be no, that is neither done nor necessary. But if so, for some of us on the receiving end of (persistent) idiocy and/or criminality from graduates of famous institutions, it really does seem to damage the stock both of the famous institution itself and the degrees they award.

9 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Will they refund the tuition and costs???!! 

    I would say in a fair and sensible society, to revoke a legitimately obtained degree:  NO. 

    Retroactivity could turn into a monster 👹!

    But in a totalitarian or Soviet type government, then maybe so. 

    Mild democrats/liberals:  Look out!!

    How about elected or appointed governmental officials who must take a Constitutional Oath of Office as a prerequisite to start work, should they permanently lose their ability to have a governmental job if they violate their oath???  I think:  YES!

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You bet they can.  If a student gets a degree fraudulently  -- by plagiarizing or cheating in some other way -- s/he is not a legitimate representative of that university, and the degree CAN be revoked.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Yes, it can be done and HAS been done.  But only for evidence of academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, or gaining admission under false pretenses, etc.

    No university would revoke a degree simply because you, personally, resented a graduate of a famous institution.  Most such graduates have never engaged in misconduct of any kind, let alone "criminality".

    Harvard doesn't care about you, dear.  Its reputation is in no danger from YOU or anything you have to say about anything.  Its reputation COULD be harmed by awarding a degree to a plagiarist or something similar.

  • 2 months ago

    That’s a resounding yes. Many prominent people including former Hungarian president Pal Schmitt have been stripped of PhDs when it came to light that they plagiarized their dissertations. Nobel Prize winning Physiologist Konrad Lorenz was stripped of his PhD after his application to the Nazi Party from 1938 came to light. 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    No. You can't rescind a qualification. If they passed the requirements, paid their money, their degree is for life. Accreditation and membership of a professional body can be rescinded, however. 

  • 2 months ago

    I prefer 'Anonymous's' answer to the next two, for accuracy, even if it's less grammatical. But it overlooks the fact that degrees are broadly taken as a measure of current worth, and the grey area between plagiarism and the orthodox research techniques expected of students.The answer pointing out you can be removed from a professional body is interesting, but incongruous given the relative degree of time and effort involved in acquiring each, and the relative esteem in which they're held. Anonymous's answer begs another question: What percentage of graduates do institutions themselves think have been inappropriately awarded degrees? Bottom line: the question is not answered satisfactorily by current practice, degrees having status over and beyond memberships of professional organisations. Yahoo! Answers tells me it's time to award a favourite answer, but not allowing me to vote for myself, which is even worse than Western-style democracy.

    Source(s): Personal experience of being a university student, a 'drop-out,' a graduate in a professional qualification, a member of a professional body and and a victim of other graduates.
  • 2 months ago

    Honorary degrees can be taken back, but earned degrees can't -- or shouldn't be.

  • 2 months ago

    No. You can't rescind a qualification. If they passed the requirements, paid their money, their degree is for life. Accreditation and membership of a professional body can be rescinded, however. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Degrees can be revoked it is later shown that the recipient is undeserving. For example if it's found that the degree was awarded based on a plagiarized paper or cheating on a test. An honorary degree can be revoked on the basis that it no honors the institution for the recipient to hold the degree. 

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